U.K. Pay TV Operator BSkyB to Improve Diversity on Both Sides of the Camera

BSkyB’s Stuart Murphy (above): 'Our aim is to kick-start a sea change in the on-screen representation of ethnic minorities'

LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk.

The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic people across its network.

Stuart Murphy, BSkyB’s director of entertainment, said: “Our aim is to kick-start a sea change in the on-screen representation of ethnic minorities on British television.”

The targets will apply to new programs on its entertainment channels, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts. The company said it wished to better reflect the diversity of its 10.7 million TV customers in Britain and Ireland. BSkyB wants to “play a leading role in making the television industry more accessible to talented people from all backgrounds,” it said in a statement.

Murphy said: “Sky is dedicated to making programs that feel representative of every one of the millions of viewers that watch our content every day, whatever their color. So we have tackled the issue with the same sense of ambition that we show in all other areas of our business, setting ourselves a set of tangible goals that will hold us to account.”

By the end of next year, BSkyB aims to hit the following targets for the new programs it commissions for its entertainment channels:

All brand new, non-returning shows on BSkyB entertainment channels will have people from minority backgrounds in at least 20% of “significant on-screen roles.” This commitment covers all genres of programs, including drama, comedy, entertainment and factual.

All of BSkyB’s original programs will have someone with a minority background in at least one senior production role. This is aimed at providing more opportunities for people with such backgrounds to reach senior positions within the production community.

Also 20% of writers on all shows will be from minority backgrounds in order to “promote a greater diversity of voices in BSkyB programs and scripts.”

BSkyB will offer a 12-month placement within its commissioning team to an exec from a minority background as part of the Creative Diversity Network’s commissioning leadership program.

More TV

  • Anthony Anderson

    Anthony Anderson Under Criminal Investigation, Disputes Woman's Claims of Assault

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

  • 'Marvel's Cloak & Dagger' Renewed for

    'Marvel's Cloak & Dagger' Renewed for Season 2 at Freeform

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

  • Frances McDormand Oscar theft

    Amazon Showrunners Panel: Frances McDormand Will Star as God in 'Good Omens'

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

  • Amazon Studios SDCC Roundup: Teaser Trailers,

    Amazon Studios SDCC Roundup: Teaser Trailers, Casting, Release Dates

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

  • Iron Fist

    TV News Roundup: Marvel's 'Iron Fist' Gets Season 2 Premiere Date on Netflix

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

  • Jon Schnepp and Holly Payne g

    'Metalocalypse' Writer-Director Jon Schnepp Dies a 51

    LONDON — U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20% of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The undertaking is one of the goals the company revealed Monday as part of a drive to improve the representation of black, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content